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Different varieties of grass have different strengths and weaknesses. If you are in the market for new turf, here are the factors to consider:
Shade is a critical factor to consider. If your garden receives full sunlight, you can go grow all types of lawn. However many houses these days cast a shade over the lawn area and this will affect grass growth.
Grass varieties like Santa Ana Couch and Kikuyu, thrive only in full sun conditions. If they are located in a shaded area, the lawn will look depleted and no amount of water and fertiliser can help with growth.
Tall Fescue can tolerate up to 70% shade. What this means is that, if there is sunlight for 10 hours a day, the lawn can be under shade for 7 hours. It will still require 3 hours of sunlight for growth.
Kings Pride Buffalo has the best shade tolerance and can tolerate up to 80% shade.
Shade Fescue Blend Lawn Seed is specifically designed to produce a lawn capable of withstanding limited sunlight.
Lawns are usually judged by their colour.
Santa Ana Couch is a light green during the warmer months and browns very quickly as it gets colder. It’s best to allow Couch to grow to its maximum length during winter to maintain its colour & vigour for as long as possible.
Kikuyu is bright green in summer and turns pale green/yellow during winter. Couch & Kikuyu can be over-sown with Ryegrass during dormancy to improve colour and activity.
Kings Pride Buffalo is usually evergreen throughout the year, but there have been instances where it loses colour in the colder months.
Tall Fescue is a premium grass with a vibrant dark green colour all year round.
The premium Royal Bengal Couch Grass is a very dark green and possesses excellent colour retention during the cooler months, and is perfect for lawns that experience mild winters.
If your yard is going to be a high traffic area, used as a backyard cricket ground or a place to entertain: Santa Ana Couch, Kikuyu and Kings Pride Buffalo are best suited. All these varieties are hard wearing and self-repairing and will patch up very quickly when stressed.
Pet urine contains high amounts of Nitrogen, which can cause brown patches. For pet owners Kikuyu is highly recommended as it is the most pet friendly grass variety.
Season to Install
Warm season grasses like Kings Pride Buffalo, Kikuyu and Santa Ana Couch are all best installed in the warmer months of September to April. While these varieties are available to purchase in winter, it is not ideal to install, as the roots will be very slow to establish and will deteriorate with the lack of direct sunlight.
Tall Fescue is available all year round and can be installed all year round. During summer it needs to be watered well during its establishment phase.
Drought Tolerance is ability of a grass to stay alive and green with very little to no water. This needs to be considered in areas where water restrictions apply.
Santa Ana Couch & All Season Couch provide superior drought tolerance. The underground runners will support lawn when no water is available and the Couch will regrow quickly once it gets rewatered regularly.
Zoysia Grass is the most drought tolerant of grasses and has a underground runner support system like Couch. It is not as aggressive as Couch making maintenance much easier.
Instant Turf or Seed?
Instant Turf as the name implies is having a turf instantly. With little preparation, the turf can be used within a week. Due to the convenience and ease, Instant Turf does cost more. Lawn Seed on the other hand is more affordable, but requires a lot more work in preparing the soil and caring for the seeds to grow. Warm season grasses will require months to establish before they can be used. Lawn seeds are also available in blends of warm and cool season grasses, so your lawn stays green all year round.
With all these factors to consider, you can now start preparing your soil.